Melbourne Studio Seesaw shares with us their beautiful and inspiring work, how they came to be and the four important things they look for in an intern!
When/ how did Seesaw start?
My business partner Matthew McKenzie and I started Seesaw in 2005. We originally studied at RMIT and after working at a small studio together I went on to work as a designer for a fashion company while Matt started freelancing. Matt’s freelance work was so demanding that I would often lend a hand after hours. The freelance work load increased and Matt eventually convinced me to quit my day job, rent a tiny studio in Collingwood and start a business.
Since then the studio has grown organically. Almost nine years and four studios later we have an amazing team of eight extremely talented full time staff, two part time staff and a couple of annoying yet highly loveable dogs.
You have been involved in some amazing projects, what have been your favourite to date and why? That’s like picking a favourite child! I love so many of our projects for different reasons. I have a soft spot for our Flinders Hotel branding because working with the whole Flinders team was an absolute joy and the scope of the project was huge. I am extremely proud of the rebranding work we have recently completed for Jardan. Our Bensimon project was a personal favourite as it was a fun, like-minded client who trusted us to create something truly unique and packaging focussed. Recently we produced a digital strategy and eCommerce website for a garden shed client. It might be dry subject matter but we are so proud of that project due to the business outcomes and results it has achieved for our client.
The ideal project for us is that lovely balance of a trusting and appreciative client and a unique creative challenge executed across a broad range of touch points.
Tell us about your recent redesign? After nine years the old Seesaw branding no longer accurately represented our business. We had recently gone through repositioning under the guidance of a business coach and it was clear that our own branding had to evolve.
The new branding is very copy driven complimented with clean and simple design. We wanted something quite adaptable with a broad palette and it also had to translate easily to various digital platforms. Finally, it needed to be confident while allowing our work to remain the focus.
What advice do you have for recent grads looking for a job/ internship? 1. It’s a given that you need a clever, well executed and meticulously crafted folio.
2. Understand the studio you are applying for. Approach them personally and it doesn’t hurt to get the Directors names right.
3. We always hire based on a balance of personality, communication and design skills. Have a broad set of skills, interests outside of design and strong communication skills.
4. We prefer graduates with some experience and a strong knowledge of the industry. Visit studios, try to obtain a paid intern position. We are so lucky to have such a friendly and supportive design community. Attend events, meet people, talk about design. It is often through your design network that you find available positions.
Which blogs are a must read for you?
I am constantly inspired by the amazing design talent we have in Australia, especially here in Melbourne. I don’t tend to look at many graphic design blogs and actually prefer interiors and architecture blogs for inspiration – The Contemporist, Yellow Trace, Share Design for example.
Whats on the horizon?
We have just moved into our dream studio and I am about to return to work after maternity leave. Design wise we are currently working on a series of challenging yet really exciting brand and strategy projects.